By Michael Donovan

Sports Illustrated, which was founded in 1954 and became the weekly chronicler of a nation satiated on the fun and games that people play, was sold last night.

The intellectual property of Sports Illustrated was purchased for $110 million by Authentic Brands Group, in an unusual transaction that suggests the magazine’s most coveted asset is its brand.

The previous owner, Meredith will continue to run Sports Illustrated’s biweekly magazine and website, paying Authentic Brands an undisclosed licensing fee for at least two years.

What Authentic Brands immediately bought was not the magazine itself but rather Sports Illustrated’s valuable intellectual property. The purchase covers the magazine’s trove of more than two million images, its swimsuit and Sportsperson of the Year brands, the instantly recognizable name itself and other assets.

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